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Masisi dividing BDP – Khama

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STANDING HIS GROUND: Former President Dr Ian Khama accused President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi of dividing the party he left intact

Former President Dr Ian Khama says Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is in shambles because of its current leader President Mokgweetsi Masisi. Dr Khama who was speaking at a meeting called by party elders in Serowe said his successor has divided the party. He feared that the way Dr Masisi is dividing the BDP he would likely do the same to the country.

The duo is currently not seeing eye to eye since last year when Dr Masisi became head of state. Dr Khama stated that he had waited for well over 11 months to meet with the President but Dr Masisi is not forthcoming.

“You heard him when he was speaking in Moshupa recently. He was speaking as if he is not the president. He is saying I have sent Dr Pelonomi Veson-Moitoi to challenge him. That is not true.
“Dr Venson-Moitoi is like a sister and a mother to me. She only came to me in December last year to inform me that she wants to run for the party presidency. I left the BDP a united party. But under him just look at what happened during our primary elections”, said Dr Khama.

The former president told multitudes that filled the Lady Khama Hall that the way primary elections were conducted has resulted in many court cases and people opting to contest this year’s general elections as independent candidates.

Dr Khama stated that if the president is off-track, it is their responsibility as democrats to put him back on track. He dismissed claims that there are people who want to kill Dr Masisi pointing out that such people would have to go through him first.

He told the meeting that he has decided to support Dr Venson-Moitoi for party presidency because of her experience as Member of Parliament and minister. He said Dr Masisi was out of order when he decided to fire Dr Venson-Moitoi from his cabinet.

Dr Venson-Moitoi was fired as Minister of Local Government and Rural Development in December last year after she announced that she would be challenging Dr Masisi for the top post.
BDP will on April 5th 2019 converge in Kang village to vote for party president. The victor will become BDP Presidential candidate for 2019 general elections.

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Basarwa’s indigenous knowledge could be used in fire fights

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Two hundred delegates from countries that include Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Australia and Namibia have converged in Maun village for the 7th National Fire Management Conference.

The event taking place on May 14th-16th is held under the theme: ‘Fire Management – A key to sustainable livelihoods.’ Its objectives are to promote implementation of the fire management strategy, facilitate information sharing amongst key stakeholders, as well as promote collaborative partnerships in fire management.

One partnership that has proven to be beneficial is that of government of Botswana and the Australian government. The relationship was born following the deadly fires that claimed the lives of 13 people, and forced the government to seek help outside.

This year, Botswana, which deals with ravaging veldt fires annually, is now looking into exploring knowledge from indigenous tribes when it comes to dealing with fire. Head of Technical Support Services at Department of Forestry and Range Resources, Gabagomotse Mafoko told a media conference that indigenous rangers from Kimberly and Australia will share stories about Traditional Fire management.

He explained that they were also looking into tapping into the knowledge of local tribes. Mafoko shared that the climatic conditions of Botswana and Australia are almost the same, hence this knowledge is vital.

“Indigenous tribes have been fighting fires for years with less emissions. Take for example, the Aborigines of Australia have been doing it, and we want to tap into their knowledge. Locally, the San have been using fire for decades with little damage to the environment,” he explained.

The Botswana and Australian government have a longstanding relationship in the fire management areas. The relationship dates back to 2008. And through it, over 5000 people have been trained in Fire Management Strategy, as well donations of used and refurbished fire equipment units.

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KBL returns Kickstart funding initiative

Koobonye Ramokopelwa

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Kgalagadi Breweries Limited will start inviting applications for its revamped Kickstart initiative which funds youth aged between 18 and 30 years, The Midweek Sun has learnt.

Today, the company which produces soft drinks and clear beer was expected to take the media on a tour of some of kickstart beneficiaries in Gaborone. Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo is expected to officially launch the revised initiative this afternoon at the KBL’s Broadhurst offices. The program was suspended a few years ago due to lack of funds, among other reasons.

Before the program was put on ice, it had benefited over 70 small medium enterprises with funding, mentoring and market access assistance. Speaking to the press last year, KBL Managing Director, Beauchamp, said P1, 5 million has been set aside for this program on annual basis.

“We plan to invest in 15 new businesses every year,” he said at a press briefing which also announced a price reduction for its alcohol brands such as St Louis, Castel Lite and Black Label.

Successful applicants will receive about P200, 000 grants to execute their business ideas. Beauchamp stated that they have been able to reintroduce Kickstart from ‘freed capital’ as a result of the recent reduction in Alcohol Levy from 55 percent to 35 percent by the President Mokgweetsi Masisi regime.

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